Awesome Gem Wins Hawthorne Gold Cup!
The rainy weather in Cicero, Illinois would not stop him from shining. The gem sure did sparkle at Hawthorne Racecourse on Saturday. West Point Thoroughbreds' veteran campaigner Awesome Gem scored a decisive victory in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup, reaffirming his status as one of the top older horses in the country.
Breaking from post 3 under jockey David Flores, Awesome Gem broke well and settled nicely into his usual position off the pace. He saved ground along most of the backstretch before slowly edging closer to the leaders entering the far turn. When Flores asked him a burst turning for home, Awesome Gem showed an awesome turn of foot, pulling away from the field to win by over a length.
Trainer Craig Dollase's assistant Sergio could not have been happier. "He showed his true versatility today. This horse runs very well in the slop. I was a bit nervous when he came up the rail, but once he got in the clear he took off. We'll see how he does when we get him back to California, but we'll certainly look at running in a Breeders' Cup race for the third straight year.."
David Flores made a worthwhile trip to the Chicago suburbs. After the race he said, "Awesome Gem ran great. He went so easily in the early part of it, and I had a ton of horse turning for home. I had to move with him when there was an opportunity down the backstretch, and he let me get him into a good position. When we turned for home I had to ask him again and he came home strong. He handled the track very well and did everything right. He sure has talent."
The six-year-old son of Awesome Again earned $282,000 for the victory. With this win, his career earnings stand just shy of $1.7 million.